There's an adage about buying and selling stocks that fits with buying into spiritual or religious teachings, especially those where the leader or guru is an integral aspect of those teachings.
If you wouldn't buy a stock at this price, you probably should sell it.
Here's another way of putting this: given everything you know about a company right now, would you still choose to buy the stock that you paid money for some time ago? If the answer is "No," you probably should sell the stock, even at a loss.
One reason buying and selling decisions with stocks are difficult is the same reason deciding whether to stick with a religion or spiritual path is difficult. Once we've bought into something, we get emotionally attached to it.
It hurts to admit that what we bought into no longer looks as attractive.
So we rationalize away the problems we're having with the religion or spiritual path, just as someone who buys a stock irrationally hopes that the price will go up, even though solid evidence shows it'd be best to sell the stock.
A recent comment on this blog by Amar makes some great points along this line in regard to the financial and other scandals involving Gurinder Singh Dhillon, the guru of an Indian religious organization, Radha Soami Satsang Beas.
Sumit, Kartik, and Kush, you have no idea what you're talking about. Would you, before following RSSB, have followed another guru who was embroiled in this type of a financial fraud scandal? I highly doubt it.
Please, look at this from a perspective as an outsider, like a spectator: clear glasses. Would you join a religion or philosophy if you did your homework and found this out about the leader, or his immediate family and high ranking sevadars? I think if you honestly use your sense of discrimination, you know what your answer would be.
I'm not saying the teachings are false or untrue, quite the contrary, I think they are good ideals and important ideals to live by. The individual professing and teaching these ideals should hold themselves accountable to the same standards, whether philosophically, or to the law of the land.
Now, though I like this comment a lot, I disagree with Amar's contention that the guru's scandals have no bearing on whether the RSSB teachings are true.
This would be the case if, like Christianity, the religious teachings were separable from the character and actions of any Christian alive today. To believers, Jesus saves regardless of the failings of Christian leaders. Which, of course, are many.
With the Sant Mat teachings of RSSB though, the guru is considered to be God in human form. The guru is the Jesus figure, the person responsible for returning a devotee's soul to heavenly regions from which it supposedly descended many lifetimes ago. The guru is the exemplar, the living truth of the RSSB teachings. No living guru, no teachings.
Previously there were few scandals involving the lineage of RSSB gurus. Charan Singh, Gurinder Singh's predecessor, reportedly smuggled watches into India. That's nothing compared to what Gurinder Singh has done and been accused of.
Would initiates of Gurinder Singh Dhillon have bought into him and his teachings if they knew then, what is known now?
(1) The Delhi High Court has ordered the assets of the guru and his family to be frozen, so money (likely hundreds of millions of dollars) can be recovered from zero-interest loans they received.
(2) The Securities and Exchange Board of India has determined that those funds that ended up in the pockets of the RSSB guru and his family were fraudulently siphoned out of a public company into shell companies.
(3) Those illegal money transfers involved "round trip" transactions that required the collusion of conspirators at both the public company and the shell companies.
(4) The RSSB guru, his family, and close associates controlled the shell companies that received the fraudulent funds.
Does all this sound like something a God in human form would do? I guess it depends on someone's conception of God. To me, Gurinder Singh Dhillon seems like a deeply flawed person, not someone divine.